Title

The Effect of Asymmetric Dominance on Ideological Persuasion In Voting-Age Participants Through News Articles

Author(s)

Pallavi RaoFollow

School Name

Spring Valley High School

Grade Level

11th Grade

Presentation Topic

Sociology

Presentation Type

Non-Mentored

Oral Presentation Award

1st Place

Written Paper Award

2nd Place

Abstract

A theory to explain the psychology of decision-making is the asymmetric dominance theory, or decoy theory, which asserts that if a choice set contains two options that are equally attractive - the introduction of a third option, X, that is completely dominated by only one option will cause one to choose the option that dominates X. The purpose of this study was to explore how the decoy theory can be applied in a political context and study the factors that influence ideological shifts. In this study, the decoy theory was applied to news articles concerning net neutrality. It was hypothesized that if a participant is in the left-1 group, then they would be more willing to allow researchers to reinstate net neutrality. If a participant is in the left-2 group, then there would not be a significant difference in choice compared to the control. If presented with a “decoy” article that is dominated by one article in both attributes, then the decoy effect would be present. The articles varied in factuality and political alignment (right-leaning or left-leaning). A pre-screening was completed by participants from Prolific to judge factuality and political alignment. In the experimental surveys, participants were presented with low or high-quality articles from various sources. After reading the articles, the willingness to allow net neutrality to be reinstated was solicited. The binary logistic regression results at an ɑ=0.05 displayed a negative correlation between participation in the left-1 group and reinstating net neutrality, but a positive correlation for the other two groups. There was a significant difference in proportions only between the left-1 and left-2 groups. The decoy effect and left-1 hypotheses were rejected, but the left-2 hypotheses was supported. It was concluded that there were external factors that affected the left-1 and left-2 group responses, perhaps due to the persuasiveness of the high-quality right-aligned article.

Location

Founders Hall 251 C

Start Date

3-30-2019 10:15 AM

Presentation Format

Oral and Written

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 30th, 10:15 AM

The Effect of Asymmetric Dominance on Ideological Persuasion In Voting-Age Participants Through News Articles

Founders Hall 251 C

A theory to explain the psychology of decision-making is the asymmetric dominance theory, or decoy theory, which asserts that if a choice set contains two options that are equally attractive - the introduction of a third option, X, that is completely dominated by only one option will cause one to choose the option that dominates X. The purpose of this study was to explore how the decoy theory can be applied in a political context and study the factors that influence ideological shifts. In this study, the decoy theory was applied to news articles concerning net neutrality. It was hypothesized that if a participant is in the left-1 group, then they would be more willing to allow researchers to reinstate net neutrality. If a participant is in the left-2 group, then there would not be a significant difference in choice compared to the control. If presented with a “decoy” article that is dominated by one article in both attributes, then the decoy effect would be present. The articles varied in factuality and political alignment (right-leaning or left-leaning). A pre-screening was completed by participants from Prolific to judge factuality and political alignment. In the experimental surveys, participants were presented with low or high-quality articles from various sources. After reading the articles, the willingness to allow net neutrality to be reinstated was solicited. The binary logistic regression results at an ɑ=0.05 displayed a negative correlation between participation in the left-1 group and reinstating net neutrality, but a positive correlation for the other two groups. There was a significant difference in proportions only between the left-1 and left-2 groups. The decoy effect and left-1 hypotheses were rejected, but the left-2 hypotheses was supported. It was concluded that there were external factors that affected the left-1 and left-2 group responses, perhaps due to the persuasiveness of the high-quality right-aligned article.